India to Clear $1bn of Diamonds for ExportMay 13, 20
(IDEX Online) - India's diamond industry is resuming limited production and is poised to clear an estimated $1bn inventory for export.
Retailers have also begun a phased re-opening of a very small number of stores, with strict sanitizing rules. The current lockdown is in place until 17 May.
A relaxation of rules by the regional government of Maharashtra state allows a limited return to work for jewelry businesses in the SEEPZ special economic zone and the Bharat Diamond Bourse, both in Mumbai.
No more than 10 per cent employees can work, travel restrictions apply, and the dispensation is only to fulfill existing export orders.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) says export orders from the cut-and-polish hub of Surat (pictured), in neighboring Gujurat state, will soon be cleared for shipment.
It estimates the value of goods from Surat, as well as Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai, could total $1bn. For context, the total value of India's annual diamond exports in normal time skis $24bn.
The GJEPC said goods were being exported by parcel services, which were proving cheaper than newly-increased cargo freight rates.
Meanwhile retailers Senco Gold and Diamonds and Kalyan Jewellers say they have so far re-opened a total of 21 stores across the country.